Commentary Entry

I am moving to a new school which means a new classroom this next school year and I have been starting to plan for the decorations and theme. I want my classroom to be better than it has in the past. I live a fairly minimalist lifestyle and my classroom naturally fell into that as well which I loved. I feel as if many teachers become hoarders and their rooms are full of clutter which causes me anxiety and a lot of students anxiety as well. This time around with my decorations I wanted to focus on inspirational quotes and pictures as well as energetic colors and soft lighting. I also want there to me a comfy corner with my coach and lots of pillows and blankets.

Color Scheme

I am going to paint one large wall in my room the sage green color and a small wall that surrounds my door the navy blue. Green is supposed to bring energy and life into a room and in Jr High many students are grumpy and hormonal so I feel as if the green color will help my students feel growth and happiness. Navy blue is said to give a room a feeling of intelligence, wisdom, and trust. I want my students to feel smart and calm in my room and know that they can trust me and feel safe. The other three smaller walls will remain white so it won’t be too much color.


I am not a fan of florescent lighting. It is too bright and it gives me headaches. I prefer to use lamp light and natural light in my class. Right now I have two floor lamps like the one in the picture, but I want to get the hanging string lights to zip tie to my ceiling and create a softer lighting feel. I also like the larger sphere lights from Ikea to hang about my desk and above my couch area to give a little bit bright light if needed.


I love quotes and pretty colors so I want to fill my room with them! We have a poster printer at my school that we can use for anything so I want to print out some of these and make a little collage around the couch area. I want the decorations in my room to focus on being happy and persistent and following your dreams.

I hope you all like my ideas for my new classroom so far! If you have any suggestions let me know. Once I start putting it all together I will post some pictures so you can see how it turns out.


6 thoughts on “Commentary Entry

  1. @naomi_jaynes says:

    Your color scheme is quite calming, Ryann, and your rationale for maintaining a minimalist environment for your students is solid. Keep the focus on learning, post student work exemplars as they are created, and maintain an uncluttered space where the students are empowered to learn. One decor suggestion that works well for me is that during the first week of school, I ask all of my students to email me a picture of themselves which makes them happy when they see it. I print them out and post them in a frame similar to this: and hang it in a prominent spot in my room. They love it and it helps them feel like they are truly part of the class. Have fun decorating your new space!


  2. Jake Lee says:

    I love the color scheme and natural lighting ideas. I am a fellow lamp lighting preference person as well! Possibly to give kids ownership of the classroom environment, maybe you could have them complete a design challenge in the first weeks of school. Maybe you could provide them the quotes and materials and see what amazing creations they come up with.


    • rwaldmanblog says:

      I like the idea of having my students pick some decorations for my room! Maybe I could have a specific bulletin board that different classes get to decorate each month. Thanks for the tips!


  3. Scott Castro says:

    Great ideas, Ryann. Room design can have an extremely positive or negative result, and it appears you are going in the correct direction. As a middle school ELA teacher, one strategy I began last year was rotating out my wall posters, student work, and decor when it was time for a new unit and theme. For example, for our Anne Frank unit, my room maintained visuals related to the Holocaust and or themes connected to it. Because I’m a 1-to-1 iPad teacher, I took advantage of augmented reality and began using the app, Aurasma, to turn my walls into a virtual museum with interactive artifacts. Every visual on my wall can be scanned, and a corresponding piece of media (picture, trailer, videos, etc) will be delivered to their devices. For example, students can scan a picture of Anne Frank located on my wall, and the only existing video of her will play on their iPads. From what I have observed, my students are more aware of the surrounding environment and don’t look at the walls as barriers (which they literally are), but more as a literal place to obtain information. So, if you and your students have access to some mobile tech, this could be a fun and engaging strategy, especially for those active middle schoolers 🙂


    • rwaldmanblog says:

      This sounds SO cool! I could do this on a wall for each unit. If I am teaching pythagorean theorem, then I could have a photo of Pythagorus and have it connected to more information about him. This is such a great idea thanks!


  4. Angela Wagner says:

    Hi! I really like the calming earth tones fo your color scheme as well as the uplifting decor. Though minimalistic, it sets the tone that you care about the learning environment as well as the students, and because of this, the emphasis is student-centered learning.

    The lanterns are cool, but can you hang those without the fire marshall getting upset? I had some once upon a time in FL and was told to take them down. I sincerely hope they stay as it keeps the room from looking institutionalized. Best of luck this year!


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